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Governor names Stanford professor as state education board president

Original post made on Feb 13, 2019

Linda Darling-Hammond, a longtime Stanford University education professor, will lead the 11-member state Board of Education, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 6:23 PM

Comments (10)

Posted by David Cohen
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 13, 2019 at 12:00 am

Congratulations to Dr. Darling-Hammond! She brings immense knowledge and an unparalleled level of experience to this important position. She has already been quite influential in strengthening the teaching profession and fighting for equity, and our state will benefit from her leadership in this new role.


Posted by JR
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 13, 2019 at 7:50 am

Stanford is fighting tooth and nail to not pay their fair share to public schools (despite having a $24.8 billion endowment), and they just got one of their own as the head of the Board of Education. This is a slap in the face to public school supporters all over the state. The foxes are running the hen house.


Posted by Local parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2019 at 12:36 pm

@David Cohen,
I agree 100%. Hammond is someone whose work is innovative, stellar, helpful for education reformers and supporters. Thank you for making the comment, Lo

@JR,
You clearly have a bone to pick because you want Stanford to pony up a lot of money for PAUSD. PAUSD just got the residents to pony up another gigantic facilities bond even though there hasn't been a tiny fraction of the self-examination and energy to soundly spend the previous bonds that some people are now employing to extract money from Stanford. The state has done studies of what causes school construction to cost so much without any value added, and if schools get money from the state, they have to follow those guidelines to figure out where they can save money. There are no mandates, it's just using resources that have been developed to help districts save and get more for their money. PAUSD refused to use them. There were specific ways that PAUSD spend tens of millions in the last facilities bond that literally got them nothing at all for their students. So I find it really hypocritical that people are running around trying to shake Stanford down.

Secondly, the stellar education professors from Stanford Of which there are several) have nothing at all to do with PAUSD's sordid administrative machinations. Hammond and others in the education department there haven't even gotten STANFORD to innovate in their undergraduate program so that they are a place more focused on learning over appearances and unnecessary academic gauntlets. How exactly do you think they are "foxes running the hen house"? They are education researchers, who do some really good work and have tried to help our local school system with the suicides. Hammond's doing work for the state is a lot of work for no glory, it's got to be 90% calling.


@Dr. Hammond, I admire your work, and have regular contact with many parents in Palo Alto and around the Bay Area who are interested in education reform and innovation, and I want you to know that the previous poster's attitude has never, even once, been reflected in the pretty universally positive attitude toward your work. Thank you for your work on growth mindsets -- we have benefited in our home personally from this. I know you will do great work for the state, thank you for your service to the public, including PAUSD.


Posted by Darling-Hammonds failed charter school
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 14, 2019 at 3:02 pm

Darling-Hammond does have experience running a school, btw - she was a founders of Stanford's charter school in Ravenswood. The school was closed after 3 years for failing to make any improvement in abysmal student performance, as recounted in the NY Times - "Charter Extension Denied to Low-Scoring Stanford School" Web Link According to the article, "the state placed the charter school, Stanford New School, on its list of persistently lowest-achieving schools," leading to denial of its charter renewal.

So while admired by some, her actual work outside of academia was a straight-up failure. Maybe she learned something; but just in case, maybe we should keep a close eye on her.

As for the above admirer of Stanford, I think it would be a good thing for Stanford to pay its fair share to PAUSD. They at least get some good results.



Posted by Agendas
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm

I wouldn’t be too trusting of this specialist. A lot of the “education” institutions are really funded by venture capitalists who’ve also invested in the technology sector... if you do the digging, you’ll be able to find how big companies are investing into charters, learning centers, etc. to further an agenda. (Continual reliance on ed tech that is not statistically supported to advance learning.... I think of the predatory marketing tactics that attract title I schools - easy to manipulate struggling schools to pony up cash, when already strapped for cash, for gimmicky ways of learning [when really its a race to catch up to benchmarks] — tell me how children are learning if sitting in front of a computer all day?)


Posted by Charlie
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Feb 14, 2019 at 4:34 pm

@David Cohen,
I agree 100% too.


Posted by Local Parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2019 at 12:35 am

@charter school,
The link you provided doesn't support your claim, in fact it directly contradicts your claim:
Web Link

The test scores were abysmal before the students began, and were improving. The high school had a higher than average graduation rate for California, and 96 percent of seniors were accepted to college. The school started so low, yet despite improvements, the school was closed. Sounds to me more like school politics and any excuse to close a charter school. The decisions seems to have been only based on test scores, which the charter school was trying to get away from focusing on, to focus more on learning and more holistic measures of learning.

The charter school was also serving the the most challenged demographic, traditionally underserved minorities already scoring very low. PAUSD doesn't exactly get good results with the same group:
"Palo Alto earns 'D' in service to minority students Oakland-based group rates quality of service to Latino, African-American and low-income kids"
Web Link

PAUSD also has a persistent history of violating the rights of special needs/disabled students, failing to provide learning special needs evaluations and services, suing families of special needs students and otherwise harassing them to leave, retaliating if they complain, etc. Given the families that go there, they almost can't do anything to have low test scores - they aren't the reason, in fact, students I know who didn't fit the mold got higher test scores upon leaving.

PAUSD also has a long and serious history of student suicide and depression (that went on way longer than the above school was allowed to run).

Test scores are not the be all and end all, and the pursuit of them can cause school districts to do things that actually hurt some students. PAUSD is a public school district, not a private school, yet they seem willing to sacrifice students for their "brand".

So, there's no "straight-up failure" here except your attempts to hide your agenda. Dr. Hammond's work on education reform has nothing whatsoever to do with PAUSD fighting with Stanford for money.

An editorial was written recently expressing outrage about Stanford paying their fair share, but no one from the district has provided reasonable rebuttal to facts refuting the editorial. The problem with our district is that people running it like to make up their own self-serving facts and framing, and inside the district, they never have to care when parents and others bring up ACTUAL facts that refute them. It doesn't work that way outside the district in the real world. I might be sympathetic to the argument if I weren't so familiar with how facts and logic work (or more accurately, don't work) in the district.

I am a fan of Dr. Hammond; contrary to your framing, I haven't said anything about how I feel about Stanford in general, just as I am a fan of Palo Alto teachers like David Cohen, which says nothing about how I feel about PAUSD.

It is the height of churlish childishness for you to transfer your bile over wanting more money from Stanford to libel a researcher's work. We, the public, are lucky to have such expertise to help our state.


Posted by sigh
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 21, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Darling-Hammonds is the mouthpiece of dumbing-down education. It is another disaster for California kids if she gets appointed.


Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 21, 2019 at 4:32 pm

Posted by sigh, a resident of Barron Park

>> Darling-Hammonds is the mouthpiece of dumbing-down education. It is another disaster for California kids if she gets appointed.

Can you cite specific evidence for this claim?


Posted by sigh
a resident of Barron Park
on Feb 22, 2019 at 9:33 am

Darling-Hammonds, Jo Boaler, and many their colleagues in the educational establishment camp, are among the major root causes of the miserable academic performance of American students across the country. They espouse progressive education pedagogy, champion the mediocre Common Core standards and defective textbooks like Everyday Math, Investigations, disparage hardwork, practices and exams, devote to teachers union... Read E.D. Hirsch's books.
Due to the anti-intellectualism espoused by the educational professionals, generations of Americans have seen their academic ability declining. With Darling-Hammonds to head California's education bureau, California soon will win the champion of the worst academic performance among the states.


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